Upload Lidar Point Clouds as LAS/LAZ Files to View Them as 3D Terrain

A LAS file is an industry-standard file format for storing lidar data. You can upload a lidar point cloud to the Propeller Platform as a LAS (or as a zipped LAZ). 

Select your file and prepare for upload

To upload a point cloud in LAS/LAZ format into Propeller, click DATA PROCESSING and then CREATE A NEW DATASET


Create a new site or select the one to which you add point cloud data.

Select Point Cloud Upload from the list of options. To upload the file, you can either:

  • Drag and drop your preprocessed LAS/LAZ file onto the browser screen
  • Click on the grey box to browse and select a LAS or LAZ file from your computer
Once you select your file, we'll perform quick validation checks. You can see if your file has passed the checks at the bottom of your screen, under the heading File validation. 

Troubleshooting tip: Is the site in the wrong location? 

If the data looks like it is in the wrong location when uploaded, check if the coordinate system is the same as the site you are uploading to.

The point cloud you upload must be in the same coordinate system as the site.

Select an elevation model filter and output formats. 

You will then be asked to keep the original “ground” classification from your point cloud. If you click no, you will be given the option to add a filter to your elevation model. If your point cloud is unclassified or you are unsure whether it’s classified, we recommend selecting the No option. In this instance, we will use all points in the cloud to generate a surface. If you select Yes, you can select what you want to filter out—Equipment, Vegetation, Structures, or Everything. Learn more about filtering your data


Upload your Point Cloud 

Next, review the details of your upload before submitting it to Propeller for processing.Once you have submitted your data, we'll do the rest! During this step, please don’t close or navigate to another tab, or you will be required to start the upload process from the beginning. We will notify you via email when your data is ready.

View your point cloud as 3D terrain 

Once your point cloud has been processed, you can view it in the Propeller portal. You will receive the tiled point cloud + DEM as a layer in your portal. By default, the terrain surface generated by your point cloud will be invisible. Use the slider to adjust the point cloud's point size and opacity.

Click any elevation/gradient map layers to see the colorized surface. 

I still can't do it!

We wrote these articles to equip you with everything you need to get the job done on your own, but we understand that sometimes this isn't sufficient.

If you're stuck, you can connect with our support team by clicking the support button on the top right corner of your user portal.

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